India and six other South Asian countries today pledged to improve intra-regional connectivity to boost trade and tourism generating 70 billion dollar incremental GDP and 20 million jobs per year by 2025.
Finance Ministers of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Myanmar met in New Delhi to reshape the South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) and came out with a vision to guide the sub-region’s development. The vision was announced after the meeting of the finance ministers of the seven nation grouping today. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, the collective vision is for SASEC to power Asia in the 21st century.
He said, it will sustain growth that synergizes the growth of the natural resources of the sub-region, industry and infrastructure potential through the enhanced cooperation. The member countries sought trade of petroleum and gas among themselves. Besides improving people-to-people contact, they will develop gateways and hubs to expand the sub-region’s trade and commerce to regional and global markets.
The SASEC also adopted operational plan, 2016-25, which defines the strategic objectives and operational priorities in transport, trade facilitation and energy as well as for the development of economic corridor. The members want SASEC to become better, stronger and faster to make South Asia one of the fastest growing sub-regions in the world.